Helping cattle keep their cool

 
By Connie Orcutt • Published: July 1st, 2015
Category: Animal Airwaves
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Cattle may look stoic enough to withstand anything. But stifling summer days can get the best of the brawniest bovine.

Risk of heat stress in cattle soars when unrelenting high temperatures and humidity combine with poor cloud cover and still air. That risk is even higher for 1300-pound beasts with light-absorbing black hides.

If the heat’s gotten to you, you can bet cattle are struggling too. That’s when they need rest under plenty of shade. Cattle drink up to 70 percent more water on hot, muggy days, so access to additional water tanks is often necessary. It’s also crucial to help cattle find breeze on top of earthen mounds by removing weeds and other windbreaks.

Last but not least, work with your veterinarian to have an emergency plan in place before you find your cattle in heat distress.